Supernova

January 14th, 2000







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more trailers Supernova

Still of Robin Tunney in SupernovaSupernovaSupernovaStill of Peter Facinelli in SupernovaStill of Robin Tunney and Peter Facinelli in SupernovaStill of Robin Tunney in Supernova

Plot
Supernova chronicles the search and rescue patrol of a medical ship in deep space in the early 22nd century and its six-member crew which includes a Captain and Pilot...

Release Year: 2000

Rating: 4.4/10 (9,505 voted)

Critic's Score: 19/100

Director: Walter Hill

Stars: James Spader, Peter Facinelli, Robin Tunney

Storyline
Supernova chronicles the search and rescue patrol of a medical ship in deep space in the early 22nd century and its six-member crew which includes a Captain and Pilot, a co-pilot, a medical officer, a medical technician, a search and rescue paramedic, and a computer technician. When their vessel, the Nightingale 229, answers an emergency distress signal from a comet mining operation in a distant galaxy, the crew soon finds itself in danger from the mysterious young man they rescue, the alien artifact he's smuggled aboard, and the gravitational pull of a giant star about go supernova the most massive explosion in the universe.

Writers: William Malone, Daniel Chuba

Cast:
James Spader - Nick Vanzant
Angela Bassett - Dr. Kaela Evers
Robert Forster - A.J. Marley
Lou Diamond Phillips - Yerzy Penalosa
Peter Facinelli - Karl Larson
Robin Tunney - Danika Lund
Wilson Cruz - Benj Sotomejor
Eddy Rice Jr. - Flyboy
Knox White - Troy Larson (as Knox Grantham White)
Kerrigan Mahan - Troy Larson(voice)
Vanessa Marshall - Sweetie(voice)

Taglines: In the farthest reaches of space, something has gone terribly wrong.

Release Date: 14 January 2000

Filming Locations: Los Angeles, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $60,000,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: $6,731,940 (USA) (16 January 2000) (2280 Screens)

Gross: $14,218,868 (USA) (2 April 2000)



Technical Specs

Runtime:  | USA: (R-rated version)



Did You Know?

Trivia:
Apparently, the zero gravity sex scene between Angela Bassett and James Spader was put together using out-takes of scenes featuring Robin Tunney and Peter Facinelli, and with Tunney's skin color being digitally darkened.

Goofs:
Continuity: When Kaela is using the VR unit to control Flyboy, she uses one hand to flip off Karl, but Flyboy uses the other, even though she is supposed to have complete and exact control over his body.

Quotes:
Nick: [about the alien object] I'm not convinced we shouldn't just blow it out of the closest airlock.
Karl Larson: You can't be serious! Do you have any idea what you're saying?
Nick: I'm saying I don't know what the hell it is and nothing you've shown me or told me indicates that you do either. Maybe it is an alien artifact, maybe it's a magic trick. Maybe it's a distillation of knowledge from an advanced civilization, maybe it's just a toy, an alien's child toy.
Danika: Or an alien sex object; it looks like...
Nick: [Interrupts] Or maybe it was something so dangerous that the only way someone could finally get rid of it was by burying it... maybe... it has no business being on this ship.



User Review

Much better than its reputation has it, but no gem

Rating: 7/10

A deep space "ambulance" ship receives a distress call from a mining outpost on a rogue moon (it's been removed from its orbit) 3 thousand light years away. Normally, that wouldn't be so unusual, but the distress signal was specifically hailing this particular ship (like calling someone inside an ambulance directly instead of dialing 911) and when the source is revealed, female crew member Kaela Evers (Angela Bassett) realizes that she knows the person who sent it. Worse, it's someone whom she's had an extensive personal history with and whom she considers a walking nightmare. Before she can warn Captain A.J. Marley (Robert Forster), they're in hyper drive on their way to the moon and unwittingly headed into trouble.

This film was plagued with problems--the originally attached director, Geoffrey Wright, quit. The replacement director, Walter Hill, had creative differences with the studio, which demanded re-shoots and new cuts from none other than Francis Ford Coppola and Jack Sholder. Hill ended up requesting that his name be removed, and used the new version of the infamous "Alan Smithee" designation--"Thomas Lee".

And that wasn't the end of it. Upon its release, Supernova received a critical drubbing. Rotten Tomatoes, for example, a website that collates professional and semi-professional reviews on films, showed a 90% negative reading on Supernova. The reaction from everyday viewers mirrored this reception, with mostly negative comments right here on IMDb.

But Supernova isn't that bad of a film. It's no gem, but it does a lot of things right: The premise is certainly stimulating. The transition from a stock, Alien (1979)-like sci-fi film to a thriller in space is well done. The characters are interesting. The suspense level gradually increases until the very end of the film.

There are thoughtful subtexts about giving oneself over to a "feel-good" substance, "survival of the fittest" evolution, and cyclical regeneration. The "fountain of youth" device is intriguing, and even though the "Ninth Dimension" stuff is gobbledy-gook, it's good gobbledy-gook--it makes some sense as fantasy material, and it provides a lot of suspense. There is a subtle social commentary/criticism on attitudes about violence in the media, population problems and eugenics.

A lot of the cast is also good--I like Robert Forster a lot, although unfortunately he disappears from the picture too soon. I'm also a fan of Lou Diamond Phillips, even if his presence more often than not signifies a "C", "D" or lower film. James Spader's characterization of Nick Vanzant is nice and complex. And the rest of the cast is at least decent, even if Peter Facinelli overacts a bit towards the end--but the role calls for that.

However, as a 7, Supernova has its share of problems, too. I don't usually subtract points for a film being clichéd, but it's difficult not to do so in this case. The beginning of the film is right out of Alien--with the ship waking up a crew member unexpectedly, after running some "tests". This is saved a bit by funny dialogue at the end of the scene. The computer, "Sweetie", is reminiscent at times of "Hal" from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). The holographic chess game is right out of Star Wars (1977). The distress signal scenario is again out of Alien, and the exploration of the abandoned mine on the rogue moon is similar to Aliens (1986).

The dialogue in the opening of the film is also a bit too jargonistic and quickly delivered for its own good. It can be difficult to get the gist of it without subtitles. There are a number of editing problems, most prominently during the "near miss" of the out of control ship with the moon--shaky cam cinematography doesn't help, either. And for so many directors being involved, the direction, while not incompetent, comes across as primarily "flat".

Is Supernova worth seeing? If you're a huge sci-fi fan (meaning that you watch and like most sci-fi films) and you do not mind familiar material that's slightly clunky at times, yes. There are enough positives to make it worthwhile. Like usual with 7s, the film is best approached with lowered expectations. Given the reputation of this film, that should be no problem.









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